This is part of an arc. The last installment is at Midnight Sun and Shen Kuei (Cat) vs. Steel Serpent.
Here is the wrap up for Puck/Owen vs. the Question.
Previously, Jack Ryder (aka the Creeper) had come to Manhattan in pursuit of the Chameleon who is an old foe of his. He had called on his old journalism school buddy, Vic Sage, now a Daily planet reporter for assistance. Jack, as Creeper, was defeated and abducted by Chameleon's ally, so he never kept his appointment with Sage.
Sage assumed that Chameleon had done something to Jack. Becoming the Question he has gone to the Eyrie Building to interrogate David Xanatos who he (correctly) believes to be Chameleon's last employer. Xanatos is out but Question confronts his right hand man, Owen Burnett.
"This doesn't have to get violent," the Question said.
"You're delusional if you think I'm just going to give up," Owen said.
Question chuckled softly. "Been called that before."
With a kiai, Owen lunged with a front kick. The Question dodged aside, letting the man's momentum carry him past. He caught the back of Owen's jacket and spun him around to throw him across the office desk.
Owen rose almost instantly but wasn't prepared as the Question did a baseball-slide across the desk to slam into him feet first. He was knocked into the bookcase, but was still able to lash out with a right-left combination of punches a moment later. The Question blocked both attacks, but felt a jolt of pain as Owen's stone fist crashed into his right arm.
"Do you like that," Owen asked. "It's my way of turning a liability into an asset."
He brought his left down in a hammering blow. Question rolled back across the desk to avoid it just before the stone fist smashed it into expensive firewood. Owen followed up with a thrust kick that caught the Question as he rose, tossing him back.
"What do you want with Chameleon?" Owen asked as the two squared off again.
"Yes, that is the question."
Owen smirked and lashed out with his stone fist again. This time the Question deftly parried it, then caught his wrist and used his arm as a lever for a jujitsu throw. Owen landed on his face with his arm twisted behind his back. The Question was on him in a moment with his knee pressed into his back.
"Shall I repeat the question?" he asked.
"No need," Owen said. "I can give you Chameleon's address."
"I need a better answer than that," Question said. "You're going to show me, in person."
Jackal tried to keep the air car moving but the Goblin's pumpkin bombs had done quite a bit of damage. In the air it was impossible to elude him; his bat-glider was too quick and maneuverable. Hyena was still unconscious and he was too badly damaged to fight effectively.
"One more chance," the Goblin shouted. "Who are you working for?"
I should tell him, Jackal thought. This was all another of Xanatos' stupid games and we had to go along with it.
"What's in it for me if I tell you?" he shouted back.
The Goblin let out a peal of insane laughter. "That's rich, trying to bargain when your life's in the balance--and your balance isn't any too good with your stabilizers damaged. Still, that's awfully chutzpah-y of you, so, how about this? You tell me and I'll let the two of you live."
"Why don't I believe you?" Jackal asked.
"Because you're a bright boy and you've figured out that I'm not exactly a boy scout," Goblin said with a lunatic grin. "But think about this: I'm just getting started in the whole dominate the city for fun and profit business. I've for the hardware but not the experience. I could really use a couple of good underlings. A right-hand man and a left-hand woman, say."
"You want to hire us?"
"The pays good, and I won't set you up for failure the way your last employer did."
"Sounds good," Jackal said. "Not that I have much of a choice."
"You've got that right," Goblin said. "So, who sent you?"
"It was Xanatos," Jackal said with a dry chuckle.
"Ahh…" Goblin said. "I was afraid you might lie, but I believe you."
"Then we're all copacetic," Goblin said. "By the way, there's one more thing I need to tell you about working for me."
"Yeah?" Jackal said apprehensively.
"The benefits suck!"
The Goblin threw a pumpkin bomb into the cockpit, stunning jackal and turning the controls to rubble. He let out a maniacal laugh as the small craft plummeted more than two-thousand feet into the New York Harbor.
"Are you sure you don't want to cut your trip short, darling?" David Xanatos said staring at his wife's image on the screen.
"It's sweet of you to worry, David," fox said, "but I'm in good hands here. Colleen and Misty are amazing, and I can't leave Monte Carlo without taking them to the casinos."
"Alright," Xanatos said. "Just promise me you'll be careful, okay?"
Xanatos ended the call and frowned. His pregnant wife had been attacked--by a pair of werewolves, no less--and Owen hadn't come for work. That was so unusual as to be alarming. He called up a set of schematics on his computer--specialized designs that the Chameleon had stolen for him from a secret file at Wayne Enterprises. They all had a bat-motif.
"With a few alterations, these should work quite nicely," he muttered. "I just need the right man."
Eddie Brock stared in horror through the Plexiglas wall that separated him from the thing that had once been his friend. He started as the door behind him hissed open and Dominique Destine entered, accompanied by an imposing bald man who he instantly recognized as Lex Luthor.
"What is it?" Luthor asked, nodding at the six armed humanoid spider in the cell.
"It was Spider-man," Dominique said.
"Really? How amusing. But is he of any use to us?"
"Not directly. In this form his intelligence is greatly reduced. We could have left him as he was, but I doubt we ever could have persuaded him to work for us."
"Don't be so sure," Luthor said. "These so-called heroes may play at being noble but they're no different from anyone else. Give them enough of a financial incentive and they'll do anything."
"Perhaps," Dominique said, "but he's been more valuable to us as a research subject."
"So he's not a success yet?" Luthor's voice took on a hard edge.
"Not as successful as the werewolf project," she said. "Ms. Johnson has developed a special pheromone that makes the creatures utterly obedient, and is close to adapting it to our felines as well. Not only that but Professor Milo thinks he's found a way to make them even more powerful. He's testing it on another new subject, a Mr. Jameson…"
"Dominique's voice trailed off as she escorted Luthor to another part of the complex.
"Dammit, Pete," Eddie said, fighting back tears. "Why didn't you tell me you were Spider-man? That would have explained so many things. But you had to be the hero all by yourself and now see where it's got you!"
The creature in the cage turned its head toward him, its multiple eyes looking at him with what? Anger? Contempt? Hunger? He imagined it filled with hatred at him for his part in its transformation.
"I'll find a way to make it right," he said. "I swear it!"
Mercy Graves was putting the new recruits through their paces. Xanatos had been as good as his word. His techs had relieved her constant pain by fitting her with a pair of bionic legs that felt and functioned so much like real it amazed her. He had made her his chief pilot and created a special suit of Steel Clan armor, modeled--he said--after a creature called "Demona."
She was in the armor at the moment, demonstrating its capabilities to the five mercs Owen Burnett had recruited. They were a good group, tough, ruthless, and with good reputations for reliability. She paused for a moment to look them over again.
Jason Macendale, formerly of the CIA; Brock Rumlow, a man with a shady background but strong, fast, and one of the best hand to hand fighters she'd ever seen; Gideon Mace, a brilliant tactical mind, and the man who she knew would be bucking the hardest for her position, though Mercy was sure she knew more than him about political maneuvering; Archie Stryker, perhaps the least talented of the group--Owen had told her the man possessed hidden depths of character but she doubted it--and Marc Spector, another ex-CIA man who was amazingly skilled and resourceful, but quiet and even mysterious. She looked forward to leading them against Xanatos' enemies and hoped that Corey Mills and Team Luthor would be on that list.
"Excuse me, Mercy."
She turned to the speaker, David Xanatos with a man she hadn't met. He looked fit enough to be another mercenary.
"I'm afraid I have to make a change in your roster. There's something that's come up that I need Mr. Spector for."
"Of course, Mr. Xanatos," she said. She regretted his choice, Spector had more raw talent than any of the others, but that was certainly why Xanatos had chosen him.
"This is his replacement, John Corben," Xanatos continued. "I'm sure you'll have no trouble bringing him up to speed."
"Of course not," Mercy said, though Corben's smug expression made her wonder.
"There's one more thing."
"Yes Mr. Xanatos?"
"Owen Burnett has gone missing," Xanatos said. "I'd like to find him and bring him home. Consider it your team's baptism of fire."
"Let's see this bauble, shall we?" the Penguin said. He had taken Catwoman into his office in the back of the Iceberg Lounge. Not the office he used for legitimate business, of course, but the large, windowless chamber where he hosted half of Gotham City's illicit business. The two sat in wooden chairs on opposite sides of a small wooden table.
"Here it is," she said, drawing a massive, beautifully cut gemstone from her purse and laying it on the table.
Penguin took a deep breath as he stared at it. He screwed a jeweler's eyepiece in over one eye and studied it for a moment.
"Magnificent!" he said, looking up. "The Coyote Diamond in all its glory. It's almost as lovely as you, my dear Selina."
"It's not that I don't appreciate the flattery, but I need to liquidate this asap. There's already been one attempt to steal it from me. Do you have someone who can cut it?"
"The good news is that we won't have to," Penguin said. "I have someone who will take it whole."
"You must be kidding," Selina said. "That's one of the most famous diamonds in the world. It'd be recognized in a minute."
"The, ah… purchaser is actually the original owner. He's willing to pay half a million dollars as a… shall we say, a 'finder's fee' for the undamaged stone."
"Xanatos wants to buy it? But how did he know to contact you? And how did you know that was what I had to sell?"
"Wheels within wheels," Penguin said. "Don't concern yourself with such things, my dear."
"This is all some plan the two of you have cooked up, isn't it?" Catwoman's voice rose. "I've been set up like a pawn."
"A very well paid pawn, if I may say so."
"No thanks!" Catwoman said. "I don't like being played, for any price. I'll find another buyer."
As Selina scooped up the diamond she heard the click of a door opening behind her. Turning, she saw three of Penguin's waitresses enter and lock the door behind them.
"Cobblepot, what are you trying to pull?" she said.
"I'm afraid you'll hand over the stone or my, ah… henchwenches will have to relieve you of it."
As Penguin spoke noticed that each of the women carried a slender cudgel, the sort used in the martial art of escrima.
"Lark, Jay, Raven," Penguin said, "please try not to hurt Ms. Kyle too badly. She's an old friend."
Catwoman is the version from Batman, TAS. She's in her civvies so she doesn't have her whip, but she does have her clawed gauntlets and night vision goggles in her purse.
Penguin is the also from Batman TAS, the version pictured above rather than the Danny DeVito inspired one. He won't get involved in the fight unless his girls get in trouble.
Jay, Lark and Raven are from Batman, TAS also. As mentioned, they are each carrying an escrima stick.